So I keep learning things here that I like to pass along, in the hopes some of you will find it useful.
I was talking with the manufacturer of the Chameleon phone headset about their products, which have been designed to provide call center managers with the best possible headset for the dollar.
Of all the headset manufacturers, I think Chameleon might have the smallest product line. That’s because their philosophy is simple – there are only three main styles of headset people are going to wear, so we’ll only offer them in those styles. Furthermore, the only kind of microphone that’s any good is an enhanced noise canceling microphone, so that’s all we’re going to put on our headsets.
That means Chameleon currently offers three headsets for the call center market – a monaural headset, a binaural headset and a convertible monaural headset – all with enhanced noise canceling microphones.
Why the focus on the noise canceling mics? As they put it, the “voice tubes” found on competing models transmit sound from approximately a 10~15 foot radius. If you’re using a voice tube, you’re possibly going to transmit conversations from the agent next to you, or in an office environment, from somebody walking past your office or cubicle.
With a voice tube, there’s no such thing as a “private” phone conversation due to the transmit of outside noise. Only a noise canceling microphone will do – and the more noise canceling available, the better.
Our Chameleon rep said that the competition’s noise canceling microphones take out about 60% of background noise. The competition also offers “enhanced” or “ultra” noise canceling microphones on selected models – at a price premium of approximately $20. Chameleon builds in enhanced noise canceling microphones in all of their headsets, with no price premium. To me, that sounds like a good deal, especially in a call center where picking up other conversations is distracting and reduces the clarity of the agent’s voice.
Another point about noise canceling microphones I noticed. Chameleon’s mics are all on flexible booms to ensure proper positioning of the microphone. Many noise canceling microphones on competing headsets from Plantronics and GN Netcom have booms that can swivel, but don’t get into an optimal position to capture your voice and nothing but your voice. If you have a fixed boom that’s beside your mouth or in some cases, is short enough to be sort of beside your cheek, the noise canceling function can’t be too good or it would hardly pick up your voice. That won’t happen with Chameleon’s mics which can be properly positioned just to the side of your mouth.
So, noise canceling is a big part of the Chameleon story. However, that’s not all they’ve got going for them. Their warranty is pretty good as well – a 2 year warranty covering everything except abuse and intentional damage. If you return a product under warranty, you get a brand new headset with a FULL 2 year warranty on it as well. That’s impressive. I’m also told their return rate of headsets for damage is under 2.5% over a 2 year period, so quality and durability are built in.
I’ve left out why these things are called Chameleon in the first place. If you’re working with Plantronics or GN Netcom equipment in your call center and you want to replace headsets or amplifiers, you’re stuck with the same manufacturer. Chameleon headsets blend into any phone system environment and any other headset. In other words, if you need to replace a headset, just order the Chameleon headset you want and an adapter cord, and it will work with a Plantronics or GN Netcom amplifier – or plug directly into your phone if you have a “direct connect” telephone. Same thing applies with amplifiers – use your Plantronics or GN Netcom headset with a Chameleon amplifier no problem.
So, you have a durable, quality headset with an enhanced noise canceling microphone that’s great in call centers. Now, here’s the biggest feature of them all – these headsets pay for themselves several times over in a call center environment. Here’s how.
With a big speaker and an enhanced noise canceling microphone, you will significantly decrease the “noise” in the conversation so the agent and the caller can hear each other clearly. This has been demonstrated to increase call throughput – a super-huge important measure of efficiency in call centers. How does this make you money? Simple.
Let’s assume you have a call center with 100 seats. With salaries, benefits, infrastructure costs etc., it probably costs around $28,000 to fill that seat with an agent. An increase in call throughput of 1% means you could theoretically do the job of 100 agents with only 99. OR, your 100 agents are doing the job of 101 agents. Either way, there’s a $28,000 benefit to your call center’s bottom line.
Chameleon headsets represent the best value you’re going to find in a call center headset in my opinion. Frankly, they’re a good addition to any phone you’re going to use a headset on. They fit virtually all business phones (including AVAYA) and they have adapters for your cell phone. Because of their use of compatibility cables, you can have one headset do double or triple duty on your desk phone, cell phone and home phone or computer.
Chameleon headsets – coming soon to the Telephone Magic website. http://www.telephonemagic.com.